The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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Required-attendance policy detrimental to sick students

Chris Ware illustration of sick kid in bed. (Lexington Herald-Leader/MCT)

We have all sat in class with that one student that won’t stop coughing.

The whole time you sit there, you are breathing in his or her coughs and pray your immune system is strong enough to fight off the virus. You hope you don’t catch the cold.

That student should have stayed home, but did not want to risk getting points deducted off their overall grade.

Professors forget students are humans that get sick or have emergencies. CSUN professors have attendance policies in their classrooms that are to strict and unrealistic.

Penalizing students that miss class by deducting points only hurts their grade. It’s not helpful.

The California Community College Curriculum states that professors are no longer able to grade students based on their attendance. Attendance does not accurately reflect students knowledge and comprehension of the course material.

It does not mean a student that missed a couple classes doesn’t understand the material. Just like it doesn’t mean a student that regularly attends class fully understands it.

CSUN professors should grade their students based on their academic performance and not on their class attendance.

College students are overwhelmed with school, job and family responsibilities most of the time.

This makes students more prone to a cold or becoming ill. The best remedy to fight illness is rest.

When a professor threatens to penalize students with lower grades if they miss class, the students feel guilty if they sleep in.

So you go to class, where everyone gives you dirty looks for coughing all over them and you end up not taking any notes.


When students attend class sick, they risk spreading the cold. It even risks getting the professor sick. Students are also less likely to pay attention in class because they are busy trying to suppress the cough. Plus, they are probably sleep deprived.

It’s better to stay home and get the notes from a classmate.

Professors tend to forget that college students are social, with outside lives that sometimes need their attention.


There are college students that have a family and children that need care. This sometimes requires the student to leave class early or not attend at all to pick up a child from school, or to care for them when they are sick.

Work allows you to take a personal day off – shouldn’t professors understand and allow students to have a day off too?


Though not all college students have kids, most of them do have jobs and other responsibilities. Sometimes an emergency pops up and students need to handle it.

But you will have to say goodbye to those attendance points for the day.

College students have a lot they need to juggle in school. The situation becomes stressful when you add problems from the outside world. The threat of having points deducted for missing class only adds more stress.

If professors want students to be present in class, then they should find other creative ways, such as points at the end of the semester to those that attended regularly. The possibility of earning extra points, instead of constantly losing them, might be a better incentive for most students.

Professors should be more understanding and lenient when it comes to their attendance policies. They need to remember that sometimes life gets in the way and there’s nothing students can do but skip class and handle it.

-Jennifer Meza, 21, is a CSUN communication major.

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